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Showing posts from June, 2013

Raw Mango Beet Salad

I am getting fresh bunches of beets from our local farm these days. After the beet greens are used, I am left with the fresh beets which is perfect for this is refreshing summer salad. This is a simple salad with beets and raw mango, pepped up with a little bit of peanuts and coconut oil. The sweetness of beets and the strong flavor is normalized by the sour and refreshing flavor of raw mango.

Beet root - 1 mediumRaw Mango - about 1/4th from a large mangoRaw organic peanuts - handfulThai red chilly - 1/2 (since it is really hot, I use only half)Sesame seeds - 1 Tbs.Virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs.Sea salt - as per taste
Peel the beet and julienne really thin.Peel mango and julienne really thin as well.Add peanuts and red chilly to a coffee/spice grinder and coarsely grind them. Some chunks of peanuts should remain.Mix the veggies and peanuts and keep them aside for 30 minutes or so.When ready to serve, add salt and melted coconut oil and mix well.Serve topped with sesame seeds.




Oat-Almond-Cocoa Truffles (Raw-Vegan)

Again another one to please my son :-) These raw truffles are kid friendly and healthy as well. I have been making nut based truffles for quite a while (we called them as energy balls initially), but my son was not a big fan of them unless it had chocolate in them. So here is one with cocoa, the main ingredients being oats and almonds. 
Organic rolled oats - 1 cupOrganic raw almonds - 1/2 cupOrganic chia seeds - 2 Tbs.Medjool dates - 6Organic raw cocoa powder - 4 Tbs.Raw honey - 2 Tbs.Virgin coconut oil - 2 Tbs.Himalayan salt - a pinch
Ground oats and almonds in a dry blender to a coarse powder. If you would like the almonds to be chunky, grind them separately till desired fineness.Grind chia seeds in a coffee/spice grinder. Process dates and cocoa powder together in blender or food processor (or just with the back of a wooden spoon) till dates are mashed well and cocoa is mixed well.Add everything to a bowl, and mix well so that everything binds well together.Make balls/truffles using …

Black Rice Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed pepper might be one of the most popular veggie dishes on the internet and in cook books, maybe because of the colors and the fancy look it can bring to the dinner table. That is one of the reasons I like it too, though the more important reason to me is that my son loves bell pepper. He would happily even eat the sliced pieces raw. I usually stuff my peppers with a nutty, veggie stuffing and serve it as a side dish. Today though I was in a mood to make just a single dish, so I decided to use black rice. As it turned out, I made the dish with almost no fat. So I will need to make sure to have our good fat servings in our dessert ;-)
Bell peppers - 3 - red/yellowBlack rice - 1/2 cupSpinach - 2 cupsRed onion - 1Garlic -2-3 clovesChia seeds - 2 Tbs. (can be substituted with flaxseeds)Homemade tomato-chilly sauce -1/2 cup (see note below)Cook black rice with 1 cup of water using pressure cooker or a saucepan on stovetop. Let it cool a little bit.Meanwhile, chop onion, garlic and spi…

'Spaghetti' Squash with Wild Rice

Even though I always buy and cook spaghetti squash, I had never thought of actually making 'spaghetti' out of it, till last week. Since it is summer camp time, I have to pack lunches for my son. I don't want him to have a few slices of veggies in between a couple slices of bread -  a.k.a sandwich every afternoon. Like how Michael Pollan mentions in his latest book 'Cooked' the sad state of cooking these days as "Home or away, a sandwich is today the most popular meal in America." I always wanted my son to know and appreciate that there is a whole world of different flavors and textures out there that you can explore and enjoy, while still not loosing the convenience of a packed lunch. This one was sure a big hit with him for last week's lunch box. It is a simple dish (more of a salad) using the natural texture of spaghetti squash and spicing it up a little bit in an Indo-chinese way.


Spaghetti squash - 1 mediumWild rice - 1/2 cup (or just use brown ric…

Chocolate Filled Peanut Coconut Barfi

This one is made on special request from my son who loves peanuts. Now who does not like the chocolate and peanut combination. I wanted to make something that he can eat like a treat and still does not compromise on our healthy eating practices. Though I decided to name it barfi, it actually does not involve any 'cooking' or 'thickening' like a conventional barfi. It can be easily put together using wholesome and nutritious raw ingredients. My son loved the addition of the chocolate layer.


For the peanut-coconut layer:

Raw organic valencia peanuts - 1 cupOrganic shredded dried coconut - 1 cupMedjool Dates - 4Himalayan salt - a pinch

Add peanuts and half of the coconut a into a dry blender or food processor and process till everything powdered, add dates and continue processing till everything binds together like a 'dough. It will take less than a minute in a blender. Food processor might take a little longer.Transfer the 'dough' to a bowl and add the remaining…

Red Quinoa Idli - Fermented version

There is a lot of buzz around probiotics these days. Probiotics in simple terms is good bacteria, which is pro-life. Probiotics are important for your gut health, digestion and improving immunity; to name a few. There are a lot of ways in which you can include probiotics in your food. Probiotics are used across the world by many traditional cultures. Most traditional foods from around the world had their probiotics, just that we might not have thought of them in that manner. Some of the most common foods include yogurt, sauerkraut/kimchi (both are fermented cabbage preparations used across Europe and East Asia), Kefir (used in Eastern Europe and South America), Miso (Fermented Soy used in Japan and east asia), Kombucha (fermented green tea) and a variety of pickles.

Being from India, I know that the Indian diet has a lot of probiotics as part of our daily diet. First and foremost would be yogurt, which has the good milk culture. From the part where I come from, we use yogurt in a vari…

Turnip 'Noodles' With Roasted Garlic-Pepper Sauce.

We have been exploring new possibilities to make our raw 'noodles' and our latest find is turnip. Turnip has this crispy and juicy texture which makes it perfect for raw eating. A raw sauce or dressing would have been good, but the taste and smell of roasted garlic and pepper was so irresistible that I went with it.

For noodles:
Purple turnips - 2 mediumLemon juice - 2 Tbs.EV Olive oil - 1 Tbs.Peel turnips and slice using a spirooli or spiral slicer into thin noodles.Toss with lemon juice and olive oil and keep aside for about 30 minutes or so.
For the sauce:
Yellow or orange bell pepper - 1Tomato -1Garlic -2 clovesRed chilly - 1 -2 as per spice levelSea salt as pet tasteEV olive oil - 2 Tbs.Cut the bell pepper, tomato and garlic  into big chunks and lay on a cookie sheet and drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil and roast in toaster oven at 370 degree for 10 minutes.Let it cool down a little bit and blend everything along with red chilly, salt and the remaining olive oil to a nice and cream…

Watermelon Rind Pulinkari - Watermelon Rind Cooked in Coconut Tamarind Gravy

Do you throw away the rind after you eat the sweet red part of your watermelon? I never throw them away and find endless possibilities to use them. Here is one... Watermelon rind cooked in coconut tamarind gravy, aka Pulinkari.

Pulinkari is a traditional dish made in a variety of ways in different parts of Kerala. The most common one must be the one with pumpkin. The sweetness from the pumpkin combines well with the hot and spicy gravy. Another common version is made with white pumpkin. Watermelon rind has the texture of white pumpkin and is slightly sweet, perfect for Pulinkari.

I adhere to some basic principles when I cook, like avoiding over cooking the vegetables,  avoiding frying in oil and heating oil in high temperature. I try not to deviate from these guidelines even when I am cooking traditional dishes. I can assure you that the taste is not compromised, while making the dishes healthier. I also love to cook using traditional vessels. This one is cooked in stoneware (Kal-chatty…

Mung Sprouts Khichdi

Growing up in South India, Khichdi is not something that I grew up eating. It is something that I started making after living here in the New England winter. A great thing about raising your family outside your hometown or outside your country is that you get to meet and learn from a lot of different people, their culture, their cuisines (that is what I am more interested in :-)). I had learnt different versions of Khichdi from my north Indian friends and developed my own versions and it has become one of the comfort foods that my son enjoys. Interestingly though, inspiration for this version is not from an Indian, but from someone in Michigan. Aimee @ EatTheRainbow had posted this recipe were the addition of coconut milk caught my attention. I did not add the rice as we usually do in Khichdi, and served it on the side, so that each person can control the amount of rice they want to consume.


Mung sprouts - made with 1/2 cup of beans (see notes)Homemade coconut milk - 1 cup (see notes)T…

Veggie Red Quinoa Cakes

For the past few months, we have been buying royal red quinoa instead of the regular white kind. It tastes so much better, I have to say it is really 'royal' :) This recipe is inspired from the quinoa garden cakes from Whole Foods Market. I have made it vegan and gluten free and given it a mild Indian flavor. These baked cakes/patties are packed with a good amount of veggies. I serve it for dinner with a salad on the side. You could make these as smaller bit sized cakes and serve as a snack too. 

Red quinoa - 1 cup - soaked for 8-12 hoursHomemade brown rice flour - 1/4-1/2 cupChia seeds - 2 Tbs.Baby spinach - 1 cupRed onion - 1Carrot - 1Fresh ginger - 1 inchGarlic - 2-3 clovesGreen chilly - 2-3Cilantro - 3-4 sprigsTurmeric powder - 1/2 tsp.Sea salt - as per taste
Cook quinoa with 1 cup of water. I cooked in stove top, it took about 5-7 minutes till it was cooked just enough and water was absorbed. Let it cool down.Meanwhile, chop the veggies, green chillies, ginger, garlic and c…

Sunny Peach Ice-cream

Finally summer is here... time for frozen treats. What better way to welcome summer than  a scoop of freshly made peach ice cream. Inspiration is from 'Peach Cobbler' from Ben & Jerry's, but this version is made with simple, plant based, raw and organic ingredients. You just need a little bit of planning to freeze the fruits and soak the nuts/seeds.

Peach - 2 - Sliced and frozenBanana - 1 - well ripened -  Sliced and frozenRaw almonds - a handfulRaw cashew nuts - a handfulRaw pumpkin seeds - a handfulRaisins - a handful (I used hunza raisins)Soak the nuts/seeds/raisins in filtered water for a few hours. Keep refrigerated while soaking so that your ice cream does not melt while making.When ready to make, add the frozen fruits to a high speed blender or food processor. Drain the nuts/seeds/raisins and add it to the blender too. (Reserve the water used for soaking, just in case you need to add a little bit for the blender - I use VitaMix and it runs very well with frozen s…